The Weekly Newspaper serving the citizens of Morenci, Mich., Fayette, Ohio, and surrounding areas.

  • Snow.2
    FIRST SNOW—Heavy, wet flakes piled deep on tree branches—and windshields—as the area received its first significant snowfall of the season. “Usually it begins with a dusting or two,” said George Isobar, Morenci’s observer for the National Weather Service, “but this time it came with a vengeance.” By the end of the day Saturday, a little over four inches of snow was on the ground. Now comes the thaw with temperatures in the 40s and 50s for three days.
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    SKEWERS, gumdrops, and marshmallows are all that’s needed to create interesting shapes and designs for Layla McDowell Saturday at Stair District Library’s “Sculptamania!” Open House. The program featuring design games and materials is one part of a larger project funded by a $7,500 Curiosity Creates grant from Disney and the American Library Association. Additional photos are on page 7.
    Morenci marching band members took to the field Friday night dressed for Halloween during the Bulldog’s first playoff game. Morenci fans had a bit of a scare until the fourth quarter when the Bulldogs scored 30 points to leave Lenawee Christian School behind. Whiteford visits Morenci this Friday for the district championship game. From the left is Clayton Borton, Morgan Merillat and James O’Brien.
    DNA PUZZLE—Mitchell Storrs and Wyatt Mohr tackle a puzzle representing the structure of DNA. There’s only one correct way for all the pieces to fit. It’s one of the new materials that can be used in both biology and chemistry classes, said teacher Loretta Cox.
  • Front.tar.wide
    A TRAFFIC control worker stands in the middle of Morenci’s Main Street Tuesday morning, waiting for the next flow of vehicles to be let through from the west. The dusty gravel surface was sealed with a layer of tar, leaving only the application of paint for new striping. The project was completed in conjunction with county road commission work west of Morenci.
  • Front.pull
    JUNIORS Jazmin Smith and Trevor Corkle struggle against a team from the sophomore class Friday during the annual tug of war at the Homecoming Games pep rally. Even the seniors struggled against the sophomores who won the competition. At the main course of the day, the Bulldog football team struggled against Whiteford in a homecoming loss.
    YOUNG soccer players surived a chilly morning Saturday in Morenci’s PTO league. From the left is Emma Cordts, Wayne Corser, Carter and Levi Seitz, Briella York and Drew Joughin. Two more weeks of soccer remain for this season.
  • Front.ropes
    BOWEN BAUMGARTNER of Morenci makes his way across a rope bridge constructed by the Tecumseh Boy Scout troop Sunday at Lake Hudson Recreation Area. The bridge was one of many challenges, displays and games set up for the annual Youth Jamboree by the Michigan DNR. Additional photos on are the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.homecoming Court
    One of four senior candidates will be crowned the fall homecoming queen during half-time of this week’s Morenci-Whiteford football game. In the back row (left to right) is exchange student Kinga Vidor (her escort will be Caylob Alcock), seniors Alli VanBrandt (escorted by Sam Cool), Larissa Elliott (escorted by Clayton Borton), Samantha Wright (escorted by JJ Elarton) and Justis McCowan (escorted by Austin Gilson), and exchange student Rebecca Rosenberger (escorted by Garrett Smith). Front row freshman court member Allie Kaiser (escorted by Anthony Thomas), sophomore Marlee Blaker (escorted by Nate Elarton) and junior Cheyenne Stone (escorted by Dominick Sell).
  • Front.park.lights
    GETTING READY—Jerad Gleckler pounds nails to secure a string of holiday lights on the side of the Wakefield Park concession stand while other members of the Volunteer Club and others hold them in place. The volunteers showed up Sunday afternoon to string lights at the park. The decorating project will continue this Sunday. Denise Walsh is in charge of the effort this year.
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US 20: Keep on trucking (#4)

Written by David Green.


It wasn’t until after World War II that full trailer and semi trailer trucks became the preferred method of shipping.

They certainly were around before then. Motorized trucks were used during the 1920s to transport goods, and they became even more popular in the 1930s.

However, after the war, it was more economical for producers to ship their goods by truck than by railroad.

trucker-3 Of course, the trucks then were far smaller than the big rigs used today. And usually, the companies had their own trucks. Today, companies hire independent trucking companies, such as USF Holland Motor Express and Eagle Transport, to haul their goods.

It doesn’t take a lot of effort to see a semi truck traveling through Fayette. Follow the trafic on U.S. 20 for a minute or two and you’re bound to see a semi or a seires of semis come through.

John, a driver for JS Transport, explained why Fayette has such a heavy flow of trucks cruising through town, which can be summed up in one word: tolls.

John said Ohio has one of the highest toll rates for semi trucks. The rates are based on the trucks’ weight and he said that drivers usually have to pay between $40 and $70 just to travel the stretch of highway through Ohio one way.

“That’s almost a day’s pay for some guys, and that only covers one state,” John said.

Even though it’s slower to travel U.S. 20 than the toll road, he thinks he would still do so even if the tolls were not as expensive.

“I like driving through here. It’s a nice drive. I think of it as my quiet time,” he said.

There’s no denying that semis are a natural part of the U.S. 20 landscape, but just who and what is coming through town?

WHO AND WHAT—Pretty much anything you can think that is shipped by truck makes its way through Fayette. Cheese, meat, clothing, paper products, oil, automobiles, automobile parts, milk and grain are just a few of the products coming through town.

“You probably get a lot of trucks carrying produce through here because it’s all coming from the midwest to the east coast,” John said.

He would know. John lives in Nebraska and has driven through Fayette several times. Recently, he was traveling through Fayette from Chicago with turkey and ham cold cuts on his way to unload in New Jersey and Massachusetts.

“I’ll carry anything, but I usually carry a lot of produce,” he said.

Tony, a driver for Anthony Trucking, is very familiar with Fayette; although Fayette may not be very familiar with him.

Tony said he travels through Fayette usually twice a week. Recently, he was carrying a load of pork, chicken and cheese from Wisconsin and Chicago. He was headed to Maryland.

“I usually go to Pennsylvania or New York, but not this time,” he said.

Although not from town, Tony’s a regular at the R & H Restaurant; he said he stops there at least once a week.

More familiar with Fayette is Larry Kunkle, a local driver who delivers grain to nearby businesses.

But not everyone is as familiar with the village as Tony and Larry.

“This is the first time I’ve ever been here,” said Gerald, a Tennessee native.

And what was he carrying? Absolutely nothing.

“I just unloaded a shipment at the plastic company,” he said. He was driving to Niles to pick up another load and then he was headed to Florida.

And of course, there are the occasional visitors, drivers not familiar and not unfamiliar with Fayette.

Mark, a driver from Idaho says he usually runs a shipment of cheese to Buffalo, New York once a month.

And Harry, who drives for DeBacker Farms, said he comes through Fayette twice a week for four months of the year with potatoes from the Upper Peninsula.

You might just eat one of those potatoes. The Michigan native said his spuds will eventually end up in Campbell’s Soup products.

So regardless of whether you notice the trucks, remember this: What’s coming through Fayette may just end up in your house, on your body or in your mouth. It’s a vital ribbon of pavement that adds flavor to Fayette.

- March 31,2004 

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